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Braves bench Brian McCann for Wild Card playoff game

Oct 4, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

Brian McCann AP

David Ross, not Brian McCann, will be behind the plate for the Braves’ playoff game against the Cardinals tomorrow night.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez made that announcement today, saying Ross provides the best chance to win in part because McCann is “beat up” physically after playing through various injuries all season.

During the regular season McCann started 113 times, compared to 47 for Ross, but they essentially split the playing time evenly for the last two weeks and McCann was terrible throughout August and September.

McCann hit .243 with a .768 OPS through the end of July, which isn’t that far off from his career .826 OPS, but during the final two months the six-time All-Star batted just .201 with two homers in a .541 OPS in 39 games.

Ross, meanwhile, did his usual solid work in a backup role while hitting .256 with a .770 OPS in 62 games, but the decision to bench the left-handed-hitting McCann in favor of the right-handed-hitting Ross versus Cardinals right-hander Kyle Lohse is a bold move by Gonzalez.

Also worth noting is that McCann caught Atlanta starter Kris Medlen for 93 innings during the regular season, compared to 44 innings for Ross. And Medlen had a sub-2.00 ERA working with both catchers.

  1. frenchysplatediscipline - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Only news because of the name. To say he was terrible in August and September is an understatment.

    He had 1 XBH (That’s it? One Goddamn hit?) during the month of August.

    Of course to his credit, he has been playing hurt the entire time.

    Fredi = crap IMO, but this is the right call – no matter who is pitching for the Cards.

    • frenchysplatediscipline - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      Yeah.

      Understatement. I know.

  2. realgone2 - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Wow. I’m shocked! Not a fan of Fredi but Cox would always continue to throw struggling players out there even during the playoffs. That’s probably why they only had one WS. Ross could be a starter on a lot of teams.

  3. lew24 - Oct 4, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    I’m picking the Braves to go the WS and based on my luck that means they will lose tomorrow!

  4. xmatt0926x - Oct 4, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    I just can’t imagine Medlen losing to Lohse. The Braves have enough offense to make up for McCann.

    • El Bravo - Oct 4, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      …as a Braves fan, playoff pessimism is as popular as pie.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      Matt: The way I see it…Medlen (and the Braves when he starts) are long overdue for a loss.

  5. mdpickles - Oct 4, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Wow, that’s a heck of a pinch hitter to have on the bench.

  6. mannyicey - Oct 4, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Player is hurt. It’s affecting his play. So you replace that player in the lineup.

    How’s this news, except that McCann’s hurt?

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